The Daily Manila Shimbun


Early voters in election hit record high

October 22, 2017

Tokyo- The number of voters who cast early ballots in Sunday's election for the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of Japan's parliament, in the 11 days through Saturday totaled 21,378,400, hitting a record high for a national election, the internal affairs ministry said.

The figure, which accounted for 20.1 pct of overall voters, surged 62.5 pct from the previous Lower House election in 2014, the ministry said.

The number for the latest election was some 5.39 million higher than the previous record, set in the election last year for the House of Councillors, the upper chamber, which had a 17-day early voting period.

This time, many people apparently finished voting early due to the approach of a large and powerful typhoon.

During their stump speeches, political party leaders, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, also president of the Liberal Democratic Party, and Yoriko Koike, head of the Party of Hope, called on voters to utilize the early voting system.

The proportion of early voters in the latest Lower House election increased from the 2014 poll in all 47 prefectures, with 37 of them seeing growth of over 50 pct. Akita Prefecture posted the smallest increase, of a respectable 28.4 pct.

Meanwhile, Typhoon Lan, the 21st typhoon of the year, is expected to cause a delay in ballot counting at least until Monday in some areas in six prefectures--Aichi, Yamaguchi, Ehime, Saga, Miyazaki and Okinawa--mainly because ballot boxes set up in island areas cannot be transported to counting stations due to the cancellation of regular liner services.

The delay will affect 10 single-seat constituencies and four regional proportional representation blocs. Jiji Press